Ohio EPA Awards Environmental Education Grant to Promote Neighborhood Tree Steward Program

Columbus residents interested in urban forestry can train to become neighborhood tree stewards thanks to a $39,791 grant from the Ohio Environmental Education Fund (OEEF). The grant was awarded to Green Columbus – one of eight Ohio communities and organizations to receive a total of $239,941 to support environmental education programs.

Green Columbus will use the money to host an urban forestry workshop and community outreach events, and train more than 100 volunteers interested in becoming tree stewards. Participants will learn about the benefits of trees, reforestation efforts underway in the city, and the latest in tree care techniques. The stewards will then share their knowledge with residents in their neighborhoods. The goals are to increase the city’s tree canopy and have a positive impact on the environment.

Collaborating with Green Columbus on the program are Columbus Recreation and Parks, Chadwick Arboretum, the Greater Linden Community Development Corporation, Homes on the Hill and Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

OEEF grants are funded with a portion of the civil penalties Ohio EPA collects for violations of Ohio’s air and water pollution control laws. OEEF awards grants for a variety of environmental education projects serving kindergarten through university students, the public and the regulated community. Eligible recipients include environmental groups, public and private schools, colleges and universities, trade and professional organizations, state and local governments, and businesses. 

For the next round of grants, electronic letters must be submitted by July 10 and completed applications are due July 17. Additional information is available on OEEF’s webpage or by calling (614) 644-2873.


The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1972 to consolidate efforts to protect and improve air quality, water quality and waste management in Ohio. Since then, air pollutants dropped by as much as 90 percent; large rivers meeting standards improved from 21 percent to 89 percent; and hundreds of polluting, open dumps were replaced with engineered landfills and an increased emphasis on waste reduction and recycling.

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